Abbas sent written peace proposal to Olmert: aide

Abbas sent written peace proposal to Olmert: aide Jerusalem -Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas submitted an unprecedented written peace proposal to outgoing Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert last December, the Palestinian's chief negotiator claimed on Monday. The document, sent to Washington with chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on a previously secret mission on December 18, came to nothing when Olmert failed to respond in writing, Erekat told reporters.

Hamas, Fatah pledge fresh proposals on eve of Cairo talks

Hamas, FatahGaza - Officials from the rival Hamas and Fatah movements on Saturday pledged to put fresh proposals on the table on the eve of new round of inter-Palestinian talks in Cairo. "Hamas's delegation bears new ideas and various options to make the Palestinian dialogue successful," said Mushir al-Massri, a Hamas lawmaker based in Gaza.

"We are going to the dialogue with open minds and with positivity and we hope to find a similar approach from Fatah," al-Massri added.

Lieberman: Return of Palestinian refugees to Israel non-negotiable

Israel, PalestiniansJerusalem  - The return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel is non-negotiable, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Thursday.

In an interview with Israel Radio, his first with the Israeli media since taking office in March, Lieberman clarified remarks in which he was quoted as calling the 2002 Arab peace initiative "dangerous" and a "formula for the destruction of Israel."

Israel's Ma`ariv daily on Wednesday quoted him as making the remark earlier this week in an internal Foreign Ministry discussion.

Hamas hints at extending its term in Palestinian parliament

HAMASGaza City - A senior Hamas leader hinted Thursday that the radical Islamist movement would extend its term in the Palestinian parliament if no agreement was reached with the rival Fatah party.

If an agreement was reached before January 2010, when the term of the current Hamas-dominated parliament expires, the elections would take place that month, "but if the agreement is not reached before January 25, then we will communicate with the factions to endorse a new period," said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader based in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas: Positive signs from US on two-state solution

Palestinian President Mahmoud AbbasRamallah  - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that he has seen positive signs from United States officials regarding the two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Speaking at a press conference with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Abbas said that "we have heard positive signals from US President (Barack) Obama, Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton and from (special US envoy George) Mitchell on this vision."

He said that "the vision of two states is the base for a solution and which should be applied as soon as possible."

Agency says corruption still rampant in Palestinian society

Agency says corruption still rampant in Palestinian society Ramallah - Corruption is still rampant in Palestinian public institutions, a Palestinian anti-corruption agency said Wednesday.

The announcement by The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity-Aman sparked a furor among Palestinian officials, who argued that corruption in general has been reined in.

Aman told a news conference in Ramallah that despite some positive reforms, particularly in the area of public fund management, there is still a "general weakness in the system of combating corruption."